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Thread: Domain name hijack?

  1. #1
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    Domain name hijack?

    Further to the older posts about 15domains, I find suddenly I cannot access my PowWeb hosted site. It appears my domain name was reregistered by a Japanese group called NETOWL who don't, or refuse to, speak English.

    Another extensive search showed me that my domain name (also my own name so rather worrying) expired in November last year, 10 years after I registered it, and had at some point been transferred to Dotster.

    But I received no emails about this expiry, no warnings! The Whois search shows antiquated contact data, but Dotster has my updated info.

    Many pleas to PowWeb support has resulted in being told that
    a) my name was never registered with them
    b) that 15domains was not anything to do with them anyway and
    c) I must contact NETOWL (no matter how many times I've said I've tried but they don't speak English, neither do they understand google translations into Japanese)

    So now what do I do? My clients all know my web address as it is my own name - just starting again with .net or .org isn't really feasible.

    I really don't know where to turn next, and am losing valuable work!

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    Re previous post, I've just spoken with a support guy from Dotster, he was as helpful as he could be without actually helping. Reason: my dom name expired end November, and despite the fact that they had updated email addresses (2 still current) they chose to send the notice to the old one which I've not has access to since 2004.
    So it seems that NETOWL have done what owls do and scooped up a domain name that had a fair bit of traffic.
    Please, is there anything I can do about this?
    Of course I can put a hyphen between my first and last name, but prospective clients will still head for my name as is.
    So upset!!

  3. #3
    Thinkin' out loud again Builder's Avatar
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    The 15domains/Powweb/Dotster connection:
    http://forums.powweb.com/showthread.php?t=81667

    I find suddenly I cannot access my PowWeb hosted site
    Hmm. If your domain name expired in November, your site hasn't been accessible via your former domain name since then. Normally, the second a domain name expires, the website associated with it "disappears". Look through all the "my domain name expired" and "my website is down" posts on this forum. Many of those posts are within hours, not months, after the expiration.

    Be that as it may, it comes down to this: You let the domain name expire. It went through redemption (where you still could have renewed it, albeit expensively), another registrar "scooped it up", it now belongs to someone else, and it was all done legally and by the rules. Can you get it back? Probably not, and even if you could it would take quite a bit of time and money -- probably more of each than you want to give up.

    Cheapest, easiest, fastest solution: Get another domain name. Another life lesson learned the hard way. Happens to me way too often.

    Good luck,
    Kevin
    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...
    but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying,
    "Damn... that was fun!"

  4. #4
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    Bad juju to let a domain expire. You could try to buy it back or wait for it to drop again.

    Assuming you register a new one, go with a tier 1 registrar and keep your WHOIS record updated. Prepay for several years at a time if you can.
    Last edited by KitBear; 3-27-12 at 08:42 PM. Reason: clarity

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    Thanks guys - I naively thought I'd be emailed (as in the past) when I needed to do anything. It seems that others have had this same problem with the same registrars. It's not illegal, but it is most unfriendly!
    As all of the extension options are available at very reasonable prices, I shall reinvent my name and get on with life, sadder but wiser.
    I'm not sure what a tier 1 registrar is, nor how to keep the whois record updated - any tips please?

  6. #6
    Custom User Title entrecon's Avatar
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    You mentioned that all of your clients know your old domain...I wouldn't worry about it too much since you didn't notice it for almost 4 months! I would guess that not too many clients have been trying to reach you.
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  7. #7
    Thinkin' out loud again Builder's Avatar
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    Small consolation, but this thread did prompt me to check on a name I registered 10-12 years ago, never did anything with, and thought had expired. Lo and behold I still have it through the end of this year! I did edit my email address to one of my current accounts -- we'll see if that forestalls any of the problems the OP had...

    Kevin
    A good friend will come and bail you out of jail...
    but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying,
    "Damn... that was fun!"

  8. #8
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    A tier 1 domain registrar is just one of the big guys who aren't going to go out of business.

    Keeping your WHOIS record up to date just involves making sure your email address, etc. are correct. Since that information is public, be careful what you choose to give out.

    I personally like to keep my domains registered at a place other than my web host (just personal preference).

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    Well thanks all for your help. I guess these people should not be used as registrars for your domain name. Accepting that it's my own responsibility to ensure my name remains paid for, without reminders which I did indeed used to get I find it hard to remember everything!
    I've now registered via namecheap who seem to offer a good service, and, yes, I've put in in my diary!

  10. #10
    Custom User Title entrecon's Avatar
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    I always talk to organizations about the upside and downside to registering a domain for multiple years. On the upside you don't have to worry about it every year. On the downside, is everything going to be the same 10 years from now? If you have a larger organization, is the person who does the updates still going to be around?

    You really have to be careful. I just saw a news story the other day about some guy who registered a police departments name after it expired. I guess he was doing it as a protest for a ticket or something he had received.
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